Renovation work has begun at Branford Manor in Groton, CT. Under new management by Related Affordable Corporation, the 450-unit housing development will provide its residents with added services and a greatly improved look to the entire community.
The major thrust of the renovation is the complete renovation of the buildings and units themselves. All of the units will undergo upgrades to bathrooms and kitchen, including all new appliances, fixtures, and flooring. All windows and siding will be replaced, and new porches and canopies will protect the living room sides to the buildings. .The development may seem to be swarming in workers, but residents will be able to stay in their homes except for a few days work on the unit interiors. Residents will be informed of the schedule for inside renovations.
The existing buildings are uniformly drab, with all the buildings clad in the same light colored vinyl siding. The only sign of where someone lives is a number between 1 and 450 on the unit and at the parking lot entrance. We decided to break the project into a number of distinct buildings, each with own color, and match the building color with the same colored signs directing visitors to the parking lot closest to their housing group.
A lot of thought has gone into ways to enrich the overall landscaping with more trees, grasses, and lighting throughout, with picnic tables and benches located in key gathering points throughout the site.
The access roads into and around the site seem to act like speedway, certainly a danger for pedestrians and bikers. We have introduced a major "round-about" to slow traffic at the main project entrance and around the main community building. Crosswalks will be striped for safer pedestrian use.
The "resident's services building will be a focus for the entire community. It includes a leasing office, a large multipurpose room available for parties and, , and a community outreach classroom for adult and children's use, such as language instruction, possible day care, etc., The adjacent building west of the community building will house a new fitness center and a refurbished, but still operating, laundry.